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Tips for Learning a New Musical Instrument

Updated on April 5, 2012
Choose an instrument that will be enjoyable and fun for you to play!
Choose an instrument that will be enjoyable and fun for you to play! | Source

So, you want to learn a new musical instrument. Do you already have an instrument in mind or are you unsure? Do you own the instrument you are interested in playing? Perhaps you could try out a few instruments at a music store and do some research yourself, and then decide on which one you are most interested in, because it is 100% beneficial for you to own the instrument you plan on learning how to play.

Learning a new instrument is challenging but so beneficial! It is fun, rewarding and a great way to express yourselves! Depending on the particular instrument, whether it is piano, guitar, cello, flute, trombone or other instrument, lots of similarities exist between them all. You’ve made the big decision to learn to play and now a few measures of preparation can be taken to make the most out of this new experience.

Learning to play a new instrument is challenging, yet rewarding.
Learning to play a new instrument is challenging, yet rewarding. | Source

First, Get a Good Teacher.

Find a good, qualified music teacher, preferably locally within your community. Talk to friends who may know someone who teaches, and try to get a referral. Private lessons can be taught in an instructor’s home, studio, or at your home, depending on what is convenient for the two of you.

Look for a teacher with an education and experience in the field of music. Choose the most qualified person who can offer you a great deal of knowledge and expertise.

Choose an instructor who you feel a connection with, as you will be more prone to become successful at playing your new musical instrument. You want to be able to learn as much as possible and you need to be comfortable with the person aiding you in understanding the many components of learning an instrument.

Another option is to visit a local music store in your town where you can take lessons at that location.

*One more option is to take lessons via the Internet. This may not work for those who need more hands-on assistance, and personally, I wouldn't use this option for myself. I'm very hands on orientated, and my piano lessons taken many years ago were so beneficial for me to have an instructor who could help me become the pianist I am today.

However, there are many great tutorials on the web and they may be of great use to you. Choose whichever option you trust will work the best for you.

Practice, Practice, Practice.

The beginning will be tough so trudge through the initial learning phase and give it your all. Pay attention to what is being taught to you. Take it one step at a time.

You will eventually learn notes, scales, timing, rhythm, and all aspects of playing an instrument, but first start at the beginning. Go home after each lesson while the material is still fresh in your head, and practice, practice, practice.

Set a schedule, whether it is 30 minutes a day or every other day, establish a routine and try to keep to it.

Don’t forgot to practice any techniques or scales that you’ve been taught, too.

You’ll feel discouraged from time to time, but once you master your first musical piece, you will feel the progress and you will feel a sense of accomplishment!

Stay Challenged!

Keep up with new piano books. Don’t burn through your books faster than you are ready, but do continually get new books at your level. Get a variety of lesson books (at the suggestion of your music teacher, if you have one) as well as books of interest, whether it be a classical book, or a TV theme song book. Find an interesting book that you would like to learn the music to and you will want to practice more often. Continue to be challenged and you will have an increased passion for playing more and more musical pieces.

A Lesson on How to Play Piano

Some Helpful Beginner Music Books

Showcase Your Talent.

When ready, start performing for friends and family. If you are taking lessons, you may begin participating in seasonal recitals to showcase your latest musical numbers. Take pride in this but don't get stressed! Know that with practice comes confidence and even a difficult piece can be mastered when you put in the time.

Dedicate Yourself to Your Instrument.

To recap...

First, set your sights on an instrument of your choosing.

Determine a method of learning, whether it is private music lessons, internet lessons or other means of learning, and decide what is best for you.

Dedicate yourself to your instrument and practice it as much as you can.

Find passion and play to your little heart's content. Enjoy yourself!

Relax, and know that everything there is to know about playing an instrument WILL NOT come to you overnight. Take it one step at a time and most importantly, have fun!

© emilybee, 2011-2012. All Rights Reserved.


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    • emilybee profile image

      emilybee 5 years ago

      Hi Christy! Yes, it really can be difficult, and discouraging at times, but the only way to improve your skill is with lots of practice. Thanks for commenting!

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Good tips here Emily, I think it can be overwhelming to try to learn a new instrument. Your tips will help people who want to learn instruments, and give them the motivation to keep learning!

    • emilybee profile image

      emilybee 5 years ago

      You are so right, alcosin, practice is extremely important. Sometimes you may not want to practice because it seems difficult, but your skill will improve when you do. Thanks for the comment.

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

      I think practice is the important tip here. I don't do enough of that, and so never learn the instrument thoroughly. Voting this Up and Useful.